Friday, December 30, 2011

Number 1079

Goodbye to the future

We're winding up 2011 in fine fashion, with a couple of beautifully illustrated stories from Planet Comics #49 (1947). Artists Lily Renée and Murphy Anderson were two of the top artists at Fiction House.

I told more about Ms. Renée's work and personal story in Pappy's #1015.

The future presented in the 'forties is pretty much long gone, replaced by the actual future. I love to look back on that never-to-be future. There was really a lot of optimism in it, considering the most terrible weapon in the history of humanity had been unleashed just two years earlier. Some popular magazines of the day painted a glowing future full of leisure time and personal uses of technology, others a more dystopian view of what would be left of humanity, staggering across a nuclear landscape. (Or in the case of "The Lost World" series in Planet Comics, being under the heel of the alien oppressor, the Voltamen.) A lot has happened since this issue of Planet Comics appeared and then disappeared from long-ago newsstands.

Here's to the future that will be, and to the one that never was. Happy New Year.


rnigma said...

I noticed the Yoda-like syntax of the Voltamen... interesting effort to make them alien in speech as well as appearance.

Stefan Poag said...

I'm too young to have read these when they first came out but am so glad to find them here. Thanks for posting, especially the "Lost World" story!

Pappy said...

rnigma, the article "Me To Your Leader Take" by Richard Ellington in the book, All In Color For A Dime (1970), gives an explanation for the Voltamen speech. He quotes from reader William Maye in Planet Comics' letter column: "...their slang (sic) is nothing more than Latin translated into English, but kept in the same form with the verb at the end and the other parts of the sentence placed accordingly."

Stefan Poag said...

Pappy: When I was a kid I found a copy of "All in Color for a Dime" in the library and remember reading that essay... it made a big impression on me... so seeing the comic that article was based on 20 years later brought back some good memories. My friends and I used to speak to each other in 'Voltaman.' When I was in a band I wanted to name it, "The Voltamen" but my band mates nixed the idea. Recently I bought a copy of "All in Color for a Dime" for myself, but haven't gotten around to reading it.

Pappy said...

Limpey, I like the name Voltamen for a band. Too bad the bandmates didn't like it. I think "Limpey and the Voltamen" has a ring to it.

rnigma said...

Since you reminded me, I had a paperback copy of "All in Color for a Dime," and its follow-up "The Comic Book Book," in hardcover. I now recall the explanation of the Latin syntax.
I got to meet the books' co-editor, Don Thompson (who also co-edited Comics Buyers' Guide, to which I subscribed), at a convention in the mid-80s. I told him, "I'm glad to meet someone I repect whose opinions and articles I enjoy."
His reply: "So do I, where is he?" (Which only increased my respect.)

Pappy said...

rnigma, your story about meeting Don Thompson of The Comics Buyers' Guide is similar to mine. I talked to Don in San Diego in about 1983 about a series he was running in CBG called "The Red Hot Thrill," about organized efforts against comic books.

I was just thinking of Don the other day when I found out a family friend has congestive heart disease, which is what Don had and what he died from.